Friday

Working Moms in Sports Have the Same Challenges We Do

My daughter and me "First Day of Kindergarten" 
There are several examples that remind us that the world of work was not designed with women, or at least those of childbearing age, in mind. That includes the world of sports.

A recent article discussed that only one mother has one Wimbledon in 100 years. It got me thinking about this issue of workplace accommodation and how much opportunity there still exists for equity.


Here's a link to the article.
Granted the world of sports has unique challenges. One could argue that women's bodies are different after they have children, which might interfere with their ability to compete at an elite level. One might criticize the individual mothers and argue that they were simply unable or unwilling to make the requisite sacrifices necessary to remain at the top of their game. Indeed, there are a host of theories that could be articulated to blame women who fulfill what the article calls their "biological destiny" of becoming mothers for failing to succeed in sports after giving birth.

However, criticizing the individual ignores a basic important question: what has the sports community done to accommodate mothers?
That question is important for sports and important for us all. Failing to provide accommodation basically forces women to make impossible, yet necessary choices.  We are forced to forgo having children, delay having children, and/or make the decision to "stay on the sidelines" during our childbearing years. Considering the high percentages of college educated women, and those perfecting their sport, in this country, it seems obvious to me that there needs to be a paradigm change. We need to start having real productive dialogue about the needs of women during their childbearing years and how Corporate America can work to ensure that as many who wish to remain in the workforce are able to do so.

It's not a question of doing something special for women. It is a question of "keeping America great"and/or "making America great again" if you will. The rules were created when women weren't a significant part of Corporate American and also didn't have the student loans that generally go with it. So, engaging in a dialogue about how to retain them, promote them and support their families isn't a conversation about special treatment. It is a conversation about ensuring that the most talented workers remain in the game by creating policies that actually considers the entire workforce instead of ignoring a major portion of it.
Post a Comment